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Re: [dsg] re: Bardo States

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  • Sarah
    Hi Connie, I’m always glad to pick up a thread... ... ... S: ....or ‘intermediate becoming’(antaraabhava.m), an idea of a pending state between death and
    Message 1 of 2 , May 24, 2004
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      Hi Connie,

      I’m always glad to pick up a thread...

      --- connie <nichicon@...> wrote: > Hey, Sarah,
      >
      > if we could jump in the Way Back Time Machine and return to 'bardo
      > states'...
      ...
      S: ....or ‘intermediate becoming’(antaraabhava.m), an idea of a pending
      state between death and birth, NOT to be found in the Theravada Pali
      Canon, but widely believed elsewhere.
      ....
      C: > There are these four nutriments for the establishing of beings who
      have
      > taken birth or for the support of *those in search of a place to be
      > born*. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the
      > second, consciousness the third, and intellectual intention the fourth.
      > These are the four nutriments for the establishing of beings or for the
      > support of those in search of a place to be born. [SN XII.64]
      >
      > Thanissaro Bhikkhu mentions "sambhavesin" and calls it/them(?) 'the
      > momentary state of being b/n death and rebirth', acknowledging that
      > there is no such thing in a strict Thera position, but that anecdotal
      > material from around the world seems to support such a thing.
      ....
      S: He is correct that there ‘is no such thing in a strict Thera position’
      anyway;-). B.Bodhi gives the title to the sutta of ‘If there is Lust’. If
      there is lust for maintenance and becoming, samsara continues supported
      by the 4 nutriments. B. Bodhi translates the phrase ‘sambhavesin’ as
      ‘those seeking a new existence’. Buddhadatta gives ‘sambhavana’ = coming
      into existence and ‘sambhavesii’ = one who is seeking birth.

      Jim gave the following commentary detail before:
      >"OF THOSE SEEKING A NEW EXISTENCE" (Pali: sambhavesino pl.).
      The commentary (Ps i 207) gives a detailed explanation. In the case of the
      egg-born and the womb-born they refer to beings still inside the egg or
      the womb before hatching out or parturition. An explanation is also given
      for the moisture-born and the spontaneously-arisen (with the first citta
      of the new existence but not so with the next citta and afterwards).<
      *****
      C: >[How long
      > can it take for the bird's shadow to land?]
      ....
      S: Exactly! For others, See K.Milinda, The Cutting off of Perplexity, 7th
      Division:

      “II.7.5: Simultaneous Arising in Different Places {Miln. 82-3}

      The king asked: "Venerable Nagasena, if someone passes away and is reborn
      in the Brahma world, and if another passes away and is reborn in Kashmir,
      which one takes the longer time, and which the shorter?"

      "They are the same, your majesty."

      "Give me an analogy."

      "Your majesty, where is your town of birth?"

      "There is a place called Kalasigama, there I was born."

      "How far away, your majesty, is Kalasigama from here?"

      "About 200 yojana,[1] venerable sir."

      "How far away, your majesty, is Kashmir from here?"

      "About 12 yojana, venerable sir."

      "Go on then, your majesty, think about Kalasigama."

      "I am thinking, venerable sir."

      "Go on then, your majesty, think about Kashmir."

      "I am thinking, venerable sir."

      "Which thinking took a long time, your majesty, and which a short time?"

      "They are the same, venerable sir."

      "Just so, your majesty, if someone passes away and is reborn in the Brahma
      world, and if another passes away and is reborn in Kashmir, they happen in
      the same time."

      "Give me another analogy."

      "What do you think, your majesty, if two birds fly in the sky and one sits
      in a high tree, and the other in a low tree; if these happen at the same
      time, the shadow of which one would appear on the ground first, and which
      one later?"

      "They are the same, venerable sir."

      "Just so, your majesty, if someone passes away and is reborn in the Brahma
      world, and if another passes away and is reborn in Kashmir, they happen in
      the same time."

      "You are clever, venerable Nagasena."

      Note:
      1. One yojana is approximately 6 miles.” Transl by John Kelly
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/khuddaka/miln/index.html
      *****
      C: >He goes on to mention the
      > Commentaries discussing images of past kamma and where you might go and
      > says something to the effect that part of what meditation is for is to
      > be able to have a certain amount of control over that process (if you
      > keep your wits about you)... that you can say about particular images,
      > "I don't want to go there".
      ....
      S: The more understanding there is of conditions and anatta, the more
      understanding there is that cittas just follow cittas according to
      conditions, just like now. The commentaries make it very clear that the
      image of past kamma or whatever object is experienced by the last javana
      cittas is by complex conditions (which only a Buddha could fully know),
      not by self or control. (I can add more if anyone likes).
      ....
      C: > Obviously, I'm an auto-pilot meditator... when I open my eyes and see
      > the new visible objects or places around me, I'm already there and can't
      > figure out how an end of life vision would be any easier to stay out of
      > than those or the places I go when my head hits the pillow. Worse yet,
      > those times you just can't wake up or stop the dream.
      .....
      S: Just as you say, as soon as we open our eyes, visible object is seen
      regardless of any wish to experience another object.
      ....
      C: > jump back in before I'm totally outta control...
      ...
      S: Just to requote again from a couple of my past posts on the topic for
      others’ clarification:

      1. >Kathavatthu (Points of Controversy), Bk V111,2,”Of an Intermediate
      State’,discusses in detail why the proposition “that there is an
      intermdiate state of existence” is not valid.

      In summary from the commentary:

      “Some (as, for instance, the Pubbaseliyas and Sammitiyas), by a careless
      acceptation of the Sutta-phrase - ‘completed existence within the
      interval’ - held that there is an interm stage where a being awaits
      reconception for a week or longer. The counter-argument is based on the
      Exalted One’s dictum that there are three states of becoming only - the
      Kama-, the Rupa-, and the Arupa-worlds <SN ii,3 etc>. And it is because of
      that dictum that the opponent (in so far as he is orthodox) has to deny so
      many of the questions.”<

      2. >I’m using Peter Masefield’s translation of the Udana (Ud) and Udana
      commentary (Ud-a),1:10, Bahiya.
      <....>
      “ ‘With respect to the seen...merely the seen (di.t.the di.t.thamatta.m)’:
      with respect to a sight-base (ruupaayatane) (there will be) merely that
      seen by means of eye-consciousness.” etc
      ....
      “When you, Bahiya, are not therein (tato tva.m Baahiya na tattha), then
      you, Bahiya, will be neither here nor there nor, additionally, in
      both(tato tva.m Baahiya nev’idha na hura.m na ubhayamantarena)- this alone
      is
      the end of dukkha.”
      ....
      <...>
      Ud-a adds:

      “It is, moreover, wrong on the part of those who seek reference to an
      intermediate becoming (antaraabhava.m) by seizing upon the phrase
      ubhayamantarena [in both]. For the existence of an intermediate becoming
      is altogether rejected in the Abhidhamma. ....Furthermore, those who still
      say that there is an intermediate becoming by seizing unmethodically upon
      the meaning of such sutta-passages as ‘An antaraaparinibbaayin’ (eg
      Aiv 70ff) and ‘Those who are become or those seeking becoming’(Khp8) are
      to be rebuffed with ‘there is no (such thing)’, since the meaning of the
      former sutta passage is that he is an antaraaparinibbaayin since he
      attains parinibbaana (parinibbaayati) by way of remainderles
      defilement-parinibbana through attaining the topmost path midway
      (antaraa)[in lifespan]...., whilst the meaning of the latter
      (sutta-passage) is that those who, in the former word, are spoken of as
      ‘those who are become’ (bhuutaa), are those in whom the asavas have been
      destroyed, being those who are merely become, (but) who will not become
      (again, (whereas the latter,) being the antithesis thereof, (and spoken of
      as) ‘those seeking becoming’ (sambhavesino) since it is becoming
      (sambhava.m) that they seek (esenti), are sekhas and puthujjanas on
      account of the fetters giving rise to becoming not having been
      abandoned....”

      S: There is a lot more detail, but I’ll leave it here with this last quote
      given in Ud-a on the same subject:

      “For when there is a straightforward meaning that follows the
      (canonical)Pali, what business is there in postulating an intermediate
      becoming of unspecified capacity?”<

      Always good to hear from you Connie. Any further comments most welcome.

      With metta,

      Sarah
      ======


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